Aboriginal Employment Strategy

Background/context

One of Australia’s largest companies commissioned the construction of a natural gas processing plant in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. A key component of the workforce strategy for the construction project was creating sustainable employment for local Aboriginal people.

Previous attempts across a range of construction and operational projects in the resources sector in creating sustainable employment pathways for Aboriginal people had achieved mixed results.

The challenge

  • Developing and implementing a workforce model that results in sustainable employment outcomes for local Aboriginal people
  • Ensuring participants graduate from the program with a formal, accredited and nationally recognised vocational education and training qualification
  • Partnering with local education and training institutions to ensure optimal use of local resources
  • Maintaining maximum participation throughout the program
  • Managing the effective transition to employment
  • Working with project contractors and local companies to identify employment opportunities that extend beyond the construction phase

The JGC Group approach

JGC Group has substantial expertise and experience in the development and implementation of workforce models and strategies that deliver appropriate workforce representation and diversity. A particular area of focus has been the development of Aboriginal employment strategies and procedures for the mining and resources sector. Our approach for this project included:

  • Design and implementation of a practical Work Ready model that ensured local Aboriginal people were trained using practical learning approaches. Approaches which focused on the specific knowledge and skills required on the project or within a particular contractor or local workplace.
  • Working with the local Institute of Technology. We devised and developed training and assessment strategies for establishing and maintaining maximum student engagement
  • Delivering training using learning and assessment strategies that aligned with the Aboriginal participants learning styles with a particular focus on the completion of practical projects.

The results

All 300 graduates of the program were employed by the various contractors and sub-contractors working on the construction project.

In addition all the Aboriginal people successfully completed Certificate II level national vocational education and training qualification across a range of vocational fields including engineering, civil construction, general building and construction, business administration, hospitality and food services.

At the conclusion of the construction phase, graduates were employed in operational roles on the gas processing plant, continued onto other projects with contractors or found other employment in the local area.